PROUD responds to Gert-Jan Segers his attack on sexwork
Some while ago Gert-Jan Segers from the ChristenUnie, together with the more extreme religious political party SGP, requested in parliament, to do research which would ‘prove’ that the legalization of prostitution in Holland has ‘failed’.  It is no secret that Gert-Jan Segers is anti-prostitution. He constantly tries to dominate the debate and constantly tries to come up with legislation that looks to fight human trafficking by the naked eye, but when examined closer is just another attempt to criminalize parts of prostitution.

In the last few years he has tried to: research the Swedish model in hopes of getting Holland interested in this (together with Myrthe Hilkens from the PVDA), tried to criminalize clients that ‘should have known’ they were using the services of a victim, and recently did a second attempt at introducing a pimp ban, of which even the National Rapporteur Human Trafficking has just stated this is unnecessary, since the law already offers enough tools to do this with the current human trafficking law, just like I stated earlier.
All these measures sound good at first maybe, trying to protect victims, but that’s exactly the problem. They ‘look’ good, but in reality they are not, because they criminalize things, pushing them underground, making it more difficult to help victims instead of easier. For Gert-Jan Segers of course this is the whole point, the more he will push prostitution underground, the more problems it will cause in prostitution, the more he can claim he was right that ‘prostitution wasn't a normal job'.

His request to compare human trafficking statistics from other countries with Holland in an attempt to prove that the Dutch legalization of prostitution in Holland has ‘failed’ is another one of those things. At first you might think this is a good idea, to compare ourselves with other countries, to see if the Dutch model has been a success or not. But that’s only to the naked eye.
Because there’s a huge problem with comparing these kind of things. Different countries use different definitions of human trafficking, making it impossible to compare them. Poor statistical research and incompatible definitions make it impossible to compare these things, and will therefore create a false image.

The result of this research would be useless, since the very basis of the research is already flawed, namely the incompatible data. No doubt it would say that Dutch human trafficking statistics are higher, but that doesn't mean that this is really the case. There’s a huge difference between what countries register on paper, and what is happening in reality, which all comes down to how you define things and register them, and what type of prostitution model the country uses.
Of course Gert-Jan Segers is well aware of this, as this is exactly his goal. Using a flawed research which gives a false image about reality, in an attempt to ‘prove’ that the legalization of prostitution in Holland has ‘failed’. He however hopes to deceive other politicians with this flawed research of incompatible data sets in an attempt to criminalize (parts of) sex work, for moral and religious reasons.

To point this out to politicians the (soon to be official) Dutch sex workers organization PROUD has written a letter. The letter also has been signed by the ICRSE (International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers Europe), and almost 50 experts and human right activist on the subject of prostitution and/or human trafficking as well as various other organisations with knowledge about sex work , to point out the flaws of making such a research.
I am a member of PROUD myself, and have been with them since the very first meeting. The people of PROUD have morally supported me the past year with writing my blog, and I fully support their goals and this letter they have written. Therefore I strongly advice everyone, especially politicians to read this letter and stop a pointless and flawed research from being made, which could be used for the wrong reasons.

I am PROUD to be part of an organisation that is filling in the gap De Rode Draad has left after they went bankrupt in 2012, because they didn't receive any funding anymore. PROUD represent my voice, as well as many other sex workers that are part of this organisations, that are trying to improve the rights for sex workers in Holland.

Read the letter PROUD has sent to members of parliament here.

Dutch version
1 Response
  1. It is really important to highlight what you have shared here - thank you for bringing this to my attention and all the best for the future.


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    Romanian prostitute working in the Red Light District in Amsterdam (De Wallen), speaking out for the truth behind prostitution. Blogging about prostitution, human trafficking, forced prostitution, politics and all the myths surrounding it. Member of PROUD, the Dutch union of sex workers.